Thursday, December 29, 2011

tick, tock

dear babies,


we've passed the 35 week mark and are almost at new year's eve, and yet i've still not seen your little faces.  i had no doubt that i'd have you in my arms by now - obviously wrong on that front.  still, every time my belly contracts or i feel one of you move, i wonder, is today the day?  every night when i build my fort of pillows and get settled into it i wonder, will they arrive before morning?  daddy's pretty antsy about the whole thing - he asks if i feel anything with every toss and turn...we're both just so excited to get to meet you soon!


it seems as if every appointment we go to, the specialists / midwives / doctors / nurses are convinced that we don't have long to go, but for now we wait...and pray for the patience to enjoy this stage for all it's worth!  :)  they've also been telling us about how well you two are doing - daddy and i are so proud of how much you've grown and how well you've developed all your tiny little organs.  you've had so many people praying for you and by the grace of God you've surpassed all of our expectations.


i remember heading into fall and thinking that this winter won't be so bad because i had your arrival to look forward to, but i had no idea how fast the time would fly between all the preparation, appointments, etc - not even born and already a being a blessing to your mama!  these first few months of the year tend to be so dark, wet and discouraging - but this time around i get to look forward to spending time with you while we wait for longer and warmer days.  i have no doubt it'll be rough and there will be lots to learn in those first few months, but i'm also sure it will be an amazing experience - one i've never had before, that will stretch and teach me in ways i can't even begin to imagine!


but enough dreaming for now; i'd rather live in the moment and continue to pray for your safe arrival then take each day in stride, leaning on the Lord to supply the grace i need to navigate this new phase and teach me how to glorify him through my new role as your mama.


love,
your mom

Sunday, December 25, 2011

just wanted to say...




ours is made up of

family
board games
LOTS of good food
pregnant bellies
laughter
warm drinks
cozy houses
chocolate / baking / treats galore
etc etc etc

and of course, we took some time to read some scripture and remember the real reason for all the celebration.

THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST
Luke 2:1-14
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8
 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger" 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" 


I'll wrap this up with one of my favorite Christmas songs


so once more, from our family to yours: merry merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

take that, winter!

there isn't much better than having a barista hand over a piping hot short-in-a-tall, 1/2 caf, 1 pump white mocha americano with a splash of soy and extra water to the top or a {insert your much simpler because you aren't a starbucks snob drink here}  ...especially on a cold / blustery / wet / dark day.

not having a set schedule anymore makes it tempting to waltz on over to my neighborhood starbucks every morning and get "the usual" (or at this time of year, maybe a chai eggnog latte - mmmm!)
I could blame it on a love of espresso or a need for company during the day (even if it's just a barista on the other side of the counter), but I think there's more to it than that.  I think a big part of it is wrapping my hands around a hot cup and feeling the warmth spread through my body with the yummy goodness of every sip.

kind of like these calzones we've been making lately
(I know, it was a stretch of a connection, but hey - when you've got baby brain, your thoughts don't always connect!)

anyway, back to the calzones - these are essentially our winter version of pizza ...because we've never cooked pizza in the oven (grilled pizza is just too good to veer away from), but we're kind of wimpy when it comes to the cold so it's definitely more of a summer food in our house.  that doesn't mean we go without our pizza fix in the winters, though. we just bundle our pizza up into warm little pockets of ooey gooey perfection stuffed with our favorite pizza toppings.

and the best part?  it's ridiculously easy.
I use the same dough as I do for grilled pizza - it's a snap to throw together and tastes great - why mess with a good thing, right?
the only hard part is remembering to make it early enough to rise.
once the dough's ready, just follow these steps and you're set:

white whole wheat calzones:
- preheat your oven to 350* F
- divide the dough out into 4 pieces (for large calzones) or 8 pieces (for more pizza pocket sized ones)
- roll each piece out into a circle
- pile your toppings / sauce / cheese etc onto half of your circle
(remember to leave a bit of an "edge" so you can shut your calzone!)
- fold the untopping-ed half over your toppings
- "seal" with a fork (sometimes it helps to fold a bit of the dough over itself)
- place calzones on a parchment lined baking sheet and distract yourself they brown nicely, about 25 minutes



*warning*
these bad boys come out piping hot - as tempting as it is to dig in right aways, let 'em sit a couple of minutes after you've pulled them out the oven and be careful when you finally do cave!

so there you have it - beating the winter blues one meal at a time.  :)  it's a double bonus in our case, since every little bite goes towards growing these little babies (who are growing quite nicely, by the way - thanks for all your prayers!).  that being said, I'm once again overdue for a baby belly picture - so here we are at 33 weeks:

Monday, December 12, 2011

week 1

Today was supposed to be my first "official" day off work, but as I mentioned in my last post, I was ordered off a week early.  I thought I'd have so much time on my hands once I stopped working, especially with the extra week thrown in there, but boy was I wrong!  I guess I didn't anticipate the number of appointments and errands (especially at this time of year) I'd be running between.  I also didn't realize how much more sleep I'd need at this point in the pregnancy and how much longer things take when your body is so tired.  

That being said, I've still gotten a couple of things crossed off the to-do list:  
- I finally packed my hospital bag 
- We bought a used crib, had some great friends come over and help clean and assemble it
- I made what will likely be my last Trader Joe's trip before the arrival of the littles
(I use their Vitamin E oil straight on my tummy - it's super soothing and gentle...and way cheaper than fancy creams!  I would totally recommend it for pregnant bellies - quick, tell all your friends! ;) )
- I took care of random odds and ends around the house

What I haven't done is post a 32 week picture...
(now that we're practically 33 weeks - oops!)

so there you have it - my week in review plus the assurance that no babies have arrived yet 
(which seems to be the general assumption when people don't hear from me for a day or two!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a small fib

remember back in September when I admitted to accidentally lying to you?  well, it looks like I've done it again...this time about being done work.  

allow me to explain.

last Thursday, I blogged about all the things I've been busy with - one of which was work, which, come this Friday, would be one less thing to balance.  Later that day, I went in for a midwife appointment, only to be turned right around and sent straight to the hospital.  

apparently, our little ones are a bit too little, so they wanted to run some tests and make sure everybody was healthy.  if not, they were going to induce.

as I sat there listening to my midwife explain the situation, all I could think was "induce?!? but I'm not ready!  there are still things to be done...I'm not done work, there's nowhere for the littles to sleep, what if I don't have the bare necessities yet, and what about my hospital bag - I haven't even begun to pack it!"  etc etc etc

now I understand what people mean when they say things like "for a moment, the world stopped turning" ...that is exactly how I felt - between the shock, concern, giddiness (at the possibility of finally meeting them!), fear, helplessness etc it actually felt like time stopped - guess it's one of those things you have to experience to understand.

so off I went to the hospital, all of these thoughts circling around my brain.  I checked into maternal fetal medicine and was whisked away into a room where they hooked me up to all kinds of wires.  a couple of hours later, they let us go, with babies still inside...for now.

they did, however, order me off of work (effective immediately!) and schedule in all kinds of appointments to keep track of the twins' growth as we approach full term.  and apparently after any given one of said appointments, they might send me off to induce the littles.  thankfully, we are far along enough where inducing them won't cause any long-term problems with their health, so all this really means is we might get surprise babies any day now.  gulp.  

so there you have it - when I said I'd be done work in a week, I really meant in a couple of hours - not that big of a difference, right?  ;)  in other news, I promised you a 30 and 31 week picture so here they are - who knows, these might be the last!
 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

believe it or not, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet...

I know I've been MIA for the past little while - between tying up loose ends at work (just over a week left!) and sorting through what all we need for the twins' arrival, I've had barely any time to sleep, much less blog.  But I miss blog-ville, and I promise I'll be back ...just as soon as I've sorted through all these mini outfits, creams, diapers, books on twins, bottles, toys, books etc etc etc.    
p.s. stay tuned for week 30 and 31 pics (coming soon) ...promise!  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Numb3rs

this past Tuesday we reached 29 weeks!

which means:

7 weeks till we reach full term
3 weeks till they're as good as full term (health-wise)
9 weeks till the doctors induce (if the littles decide to keep chillin' in there past full term)
4 more midwife appointments on the calendar
6 more OB appointments on the calendar
5 more ultrasound appointments on the calendar

Now, I'm usually not a numbers person, but these numbers are lovely because they mean I get to meet my babies soon!  

And despite being 
scared
nervous 
& underprepared 

I am still super
e x c i t e d 

The morning of our wedding day, I remember Daniel telling me now that the ball is rolling, there's no point in getting upset if things don't go according to plan - all we can do now is hold on and enjoy the ride.  He was probably just talking about the craziness that is a typical wedding day, and at that moment, it was just what I needed to hear.  Looking back, though, it's totally been applicable to marriage in general and now babies - twins!  (sometimes I'm still in shock about it all)  And as I sit here and reflect almost three and a half years later, I am so grateful for friends and family who have loved / encouraged / supported us along the way and even more so for a God who does have a plan so that I can leave it in his hands, hold on and enjoy the ride.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

we are thankful...

...for Christmas at Starbucks
(the only part of Christmas that's allowed in our house before American Thanksgiving)

...for safely getting to 28 weeks 

...for our first baby shower:  those who put in the effort to host it and those who blessed us with presents for the littles
...and with that, we've wrapped up yet another weekend!  

Friday, November 4, 2011

November already?

how did that happen?  
time is flying by and we are speedily approaching the twins' arrival 
  
{insert moment of panic here}

between now and then...
...we've got check-ups and appointments galore
...we're hoping to move somewhere where they can have their own room
...we've got to prep for Christmas
...we've got to figure out what things we need to take care of the littles
...we've got to buy / register for said things
...we've got to keep our priorities straight, our heads from spinning, our relationships in tact and remember to rest and enjoy these last couple of months before everything changes forever
(a tad dramatic, I know - but what fun is life with no drama?  ;) )

here we are at 27 weeks, with yet another week behind us
it was a rougher week than most, to be honest.  many of you read my last post and very sweetly (if that is even a word) offered support, encouragement and prayers.  let me tell you, every single one was much appreciated!

what i didn't mention in the post was that a specialist had called that morning trying to book an "urgent" ultrasound for us - apparently our last ultrasound showed one of our babies to be quite a bit smaller than the other plus her rate of growth had slowed down.  all of this i knew beforehand, but something about the phone call and the sudden urgency to book another ultrasound shook me a bit - it made me wonder if perhaps this was a bigger deal than i had originally thought.

so we booked an ultrasound and an appointment with the specialist and headed out early yesterday morning to meet with them.  after a full day of hospitals, appointments, doctors, technicians, etc, we found out that it was indeed a bigger deal than we had thought, but also that it wasn't an issue anymore.  turns out the twins are on the small end of normal and our wee one has caught up so that they are both the same size now - thank you, Jesus!  in fact, getting to see the specialist gave us an opportunity (that we wouldn't have had otherwise) to learn more about our twins and taking care of them at this stage so it was a bit of a blessing, actually.

so that's our latest big news - and despite being completely exhausted, I am thankful:
my babies are well, my momma's heart is glad and my faith is encouraged.  :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

today...

...i feel a bit discouraged...
...i am fighting off stress / anxiousness...
...i have had to preach truth to myself repeatedly...
...i am exhausted...
...i may have had a wee bit too much "fun sized" candy (and now feel funny because of it)...
...i am starting to really feel the uncomfortable effects of lugging two around...
...i am standing on the promises of God...
...if you have a minute to spare, feel free to say a little prayer for me, the kiddos and our growing family in general.
thanks!   

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T-minus 10

10 weeks to full term as of yesterday!  i can't believe i'm saying this, but i'm starting to feel ready to face labor and whatever else i have ahead of me - maybe its some kind of motherly instinct kicking in.  or maybe its a mix of late night blogging and being super tired at the moment...who knows - either way, i'm going to cut it short this time around and call it a night!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

in the words of others...

i wanna make you smile, whenever you're sad
carry you around when your arthritis is bad
oh, all i wanna do 
is grow old with you...
{grow old with you - adam sandler}

it's his birthday today but we're not officially celebrating till Friday.  i still wanted to put a little post together on the actual day though.  
 there's way too much to say, so rather than turn to mush and make you all sick, I decided to mix it up with a quote or two + slip in a tiny blurb of my own. 
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend.
—Song of Songs 5:16
"He gives me the best bites of his food; like the cheesy corner of the pizza, the nub of the sandwich that has even proportions of all the goodies inside or let’s me eat half his dessert after I said “I didn’t want any”, yea… I’m a lucky girl because after eating all his best bites, he [still wanted] to marry me."
  [borrowed from here - but it describes him to a T!  its hard not to love someone like that... :) ]

happy birthday, love!  you really are the best and it has been an absolute joy to share your last eight birthdays - it gets better every year and i can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you in the years to come.  you are an amazing husband and friend and i know you will make the best daddy ever to our little ones.  i hope your day is awesome and can't wait to celebrate you!  

*top photo by Hannah Cummins

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

dreaming...

earlier this week, i dreamt the littles had arrived - and all i remember of what they looked like were their teeny tiny little feet!  weird, right?  still, it left me all warm and fuzzy - almost like i really did get to visit with them despite their obvious non-arrival yet...
and since i can't meet them quite yet, i'll settle for writing them a note, since that's all I can do right now.  :)

dear babies


wow, so much has happened since i last wrote you a note - i found out there were not one, but TWO of you in there, we went from just starting to feel you move around to karate-chop-dance-parties all day long, from daddy waiting to see you move to daddy referencing alien movies every time you stretch your little selves or push back when someone pokes at you... and the list goes on!  there's also been lots of reading up on twins, researching what you'll need, picking items to start a registry, learning baby-product and mom lingo...there's so much to know!  


all this time spent on baby-related things and i still never get sick of thinking about, talking to and praying for you two - i love you so much and i haven't even met you yet!  its funny though, because in a sense i feel like i'm already getting to know you - i know which of you is more hyper and which one likes to chill, i know where in my belly each of you likes to curl up for a nap, i know what your schedule is like through the day - just little tidbits here and there have taught me about your personalities. 


daddy and i got to hear your little heartbeats today at our midwife appointment - you sure didn't like being pushed around mid-nap, but it was super cute despite the fuss you put up (sorry).  we've also got an ultrasound later this week so i'll get to see you again - i'm so excited to see how you've grown and changed since last time.  i cherish every one of our appointments - they are such special memories & its so nice to learn more about you with each visit.  hopefully you'll be doing well - i know whatever we see and hear, the Lord is ultimately taking care of you, so there is nothing to worry about.  


it has been such a treat to share this experience with you so far - 25 weeks has come and gone fast (although there are times when it couldn't be fast enough).  before i know it, i'll be done carrying you with me everywhere i go ...that's kind of a strange and bittersweet thought for me right now, but I'm looking forward to seeing the plans the Lord has for your lives and for our little family's life as a whole in the months and years to come.   in the meantime, daddy and i will continue to get things ready for you, filling up our home with little things you'll need and our hearts with prayers for you until we finally get to meet you. 


love, 
your mom

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

23, 24 + a milestone(ish)

yesterday, we hit the 24 week mark in this pregnancy, which is kind of a big deal because it means the littles can officially arrive any day from here on out!  although the longer they stay inside, the better likelihood they have of surviving, so we're praying they stick around in there a bit longer.  I've told them they're not allowed to come out for at least another month... but as much as I'd love to control everything in my life so that it is just so, I know we will have to trust the Lord with whatever happens, knowing that He is in control and they are in His care, which is much better than mine, my midwives or any doctors out there.
so for now we're happy with watching my belly grow (by the minute - true story!) and cherishing their little movements as they develop.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cupcakes!


I recently organized a going-away party for one of the girls in my office.  We wanted to do something that reflected her fun and girly personality - and what better way to do that than a cupake party?  So I got baking...(we all know the potential for disaster there!)

50ish mini cupcakes and a long, busy couple of nights later, I had some Vanilla Chai cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Buttercream and some Chocolate Coconut cupcakes with a Dark Chocolate and Coconut Ganache all lined up and ready to go.  This was quite an adventure for me - I've never really made cupcakes before and I've definitely never iced them!  But I had an ambitious vision in my head and just went with it.  

...and the office loved them!  I was so thrilled / relieved.  I made a half batch of each of the recipes, plus I made them mini instead of standard sized or an actual cake, so I adjusted the baking time to 12ish minutes a batch.  I also subbed in half whole wheat flour and nobody even noticed.  

A note on the chocolate cupcakes - they are really chocolatey (in a dense, dark chocolate kind of way, not a sweet milk chocolate kind of way)...so don't make them unless you have a chocolate lover kicking around.  Also, I might add a bit of coconut extract in the icing next time to pump up the coconut flavor.  

Anyway, enough of my rambling - here are the recipes: 

Vanilla-Chai Cupcakes
(borrowed and slightly adapted from Megan)

Chai Spice Mix
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 ts cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


Cupcake Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 quantity chai spice mix 
5/8 cups white whole wheat flour
5/8 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Vanilla Chai Buttercream*
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 quantity chai spice mix
1-2 tbs cold milk, if needed

*the buttercream was super sweet and I didn't love the texture - next time, I might try a cream cheese icing instead of a buttercream...just a thought

directions:


For the Chai Spice Mix:
- Mix spices together in a bowl and set aside

For the cupcakes:  
- Preheat oven to 325*F  
- Grease a cupcake tin or line with cupcake wrappers. 
- Cream together the butter and sugar. 
- Add the vanilla and beat in one egg at a time then stir in half of the chai spice mix. 
- Sift together the flour and salt into a separate bowl then fold in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, stirring until combined. Be careful not to over mix. 
- Mix together the baking soda and vinegar and stir into the batter.
- Spoon into prepared cupcake tin until 3/4 full (I did a hefty tablespoon per cupcake) and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting
For the buttercream
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. 
- On low, mix in the vanilla and the rest of the chai spice mix. 
- Carefully beat in the icing sugar about ½ cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick add 1-2 tbs of cold milk until the desired consistency is reached
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip.
Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
(batter borrowed and slightly adapted from Sheena; ganache borrowed and slightly altered from Real Simple)

Cupcake Batter

2 ounces 72% dark chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup light coconut milk
5/8 cups white whole wheat flour
5/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
toasted unsweetened coconut* (for topping, optional)
*I just bought unsweetened coconut and toasted it on the stovetop till it turned golden and began to smell yummy


Chocolate Coconut Ganache  
1 pound 72% dark chocolate
2 cups light coconut milk 
pinch sea salt

directions:


For the cupcakes:  

- Preheat oven to 350*F

- Grease a cupcake tin or line with cupcake wrappers. 

Finely chop chocolate and combine in a bowl with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl
- In another large bowl beat butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer until well combined. 
 - Add eggs (one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). 
- Slowly add coconut milk and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. 
- Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

- Spoon into prepared cupcake tin until 3/4 full (I did a hefty tablespoon per cupcake) and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a center cupcake comes out clean.

- Cool completely before frosting
For the ganache
- Roughly chop chocolate up and place in a large heatproof bowl
- In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk to a bare simmer, stirring constantly
- Pour hot coconut milk over the chocolate, add the salt and let stand for 2 minutes 
- Whisk until melted smooth then let cool at room temperature* for 4 - 5 hours, stirring occasionally until thick and spreadable
- Pipe onto cooled cupcakes with your favorite frosting tip then top with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.  
*if you try to speed up the process but sticking the frosting in your fridge, you'll get lumpy frosting; once it's cooled, though, you can store it in your fridge.

 I made the buttercream & the ganache a couple of days ahead of time and they kept in the fridge just fine so if you don't have an entire day set aside as a bake-a-thon, that might be a good idea for you to do too.
Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Home Alone

I spent the evening home alone.

Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of being home alone, but tonight I actually chose staying in over going out.  The peanuts didn't seem to mind either - they were happy as clams, kicking up a storm in my belly (dance party, anyone?) ...and I know it's dorky, but I just love feeling them move about and being able to actually see them poking here and there - it just never gets old! 

Aside from sitting around watching my belly (weird, I know), I spent some time working on a few little projects around home, like...

 ...looking through photos to fill the empty frames that have been leaning against our walls forever

planning and organizing for the babies,  

and picking favorite photos from a first birthday that I had the honor of shooting recently.

and since {Canadian} Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I'll  wrap this up by saying how very thankful I was for tonight - a quiet, productive(ish) evening at home was just what I needed.  

Now I'm ready for Daniel to get home and hang out a bit before bedtime.  :)
  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blessed

This first time pregnant thing is full of what-ifs.  And I know I've mentioned this on here before, but we went into it trusting that the Lord would provide -for the unexpected (hello, twins!), for the resources to raise a family, for housing, for peace to counter those how-am-I-supposed-to-raise-a-kid jitters, for everything.  I say that with complete confidence, but I still have to say a little prayer --sometimes several times a day, when I feel overwhelmed by all that has to be done/organized/bought/prepared etc.  And the Lord has been faithful to calm my anxieties and help me trust Him with my concerns.
It's also really helped to repeat scripture to myself.  A couple that I've turned to often or at least recently:

 

As if peace that He has provided isn't enough, we were just recently blessed with a double stroller!!  I actually couldn't believe it - that is something I was specifically concerned about, and bam - just like that, God literally provided the item (from a fellow that my office has done a couple of projects with, too - not exactly someone you'd expect to gift you with something so generous!).  So, thank you Jesus and thank you to the family who gifted us the stroller - we are encouraged in our faith and very very thankful!
p.s. we're in our 22nd week along (23rd tomorrow!), and definitely looking it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the good, the bad and the ugly

the good:  I've FINALLY gotten back enough energy to get back into a regular cooking schedule

the bad:  I've been battling a heck of a cold over the past week and a bit - let me tell you, you don't appreciate cold meds until you're not allowed to have them!

the ugly:  there actually isn't an ugly, it's just that the phrase sounded so incomplete without it ...but, since I tricked you into thinking there was an "ugly," I will instead share a soup recipe that I made while battling said cold - because it was easy and souper yummy...yes, I am that cheesy!  :)

I borrowed the recipe from Sheena, with a few adjustments to suit what I had on hand - it takes some time to cook down to the yummy goodness that it is, but hands on time is SO little and it makes your whole house smell amazing as it simmers away.


Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
 
a touch of olive oil
1/2 a small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ear of corn (kernels cut off with a knife)
1 large carrot, sliced up
1 cup homemade chicken broth (more if you like it on the soupy side)*
2 cups water (more if you like it on the soupy side)*
1 chicken breast (mine was frozen, but thawed works too)
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
juice of 1/2 a lemon
S+P, to taste
lemon pepper spice mix, to taste


- heat olive oil in a saucepan then saute onion, garlic, corn and carrots, adding as much S+P as you like
 
- add chicken broth, water, chicken breast, wild rice and spices


- bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium low for a couple of hours...until the flavors blend and the chicken cooks to fall-apart tenderness!


- serve topped with extra lemon juice and lemon pepper if you like


*I didn't feel like a soupy soup (mine was more of a thick stew) so those are the numbers I used - Sheena's recipe suggests 4 cups broth and 2 - 4 cups water.
PERFECT food for a cold...or cold weather!  :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two

So I might have lied in my last post on here.  Not on purpose, though, I was just...unaware.

I claimed we were halfway there, but apparently we're closer than that.  How close?  Only time will tell.  I only found out about a week ago when we went in for our 20 week ultrasound - you know, the one where they check on the kid and show you ten little toes and ten little fingers then send you home with a picture of your little peanut to ooooh and ahhh over for the next 20 weeks.  

Except, when we went in, the technician didn't exactly do that.  Instead she showed us twenty little toes and twenty little fingers and sent us home with pictures of our peanuts to oooh and ahhh over.  Yep, you read that right - that "s" wasn't a typo, and no, we don't have a child with an extra set of fingers and toes - we have two kicking around in there.

It's still sinking in, actually.  And to be perfectly honest, the news is exciting but also quite overwhelming.  We now have less time (twins typically arrive about a month early, assuming no complications come up to make them even earlier) to get more stuff together; all the while scheduling more appointments and ultrasounds along they way, since we are now classified as a "high risk pregnancy."

I have had moments where I feel completely in over my head, but the Lord has also been constantly reminding me that He will not give us more than we can handle.  He will provide the resources, the emotions, the ability - everything, just as He always has.  I see this as a great opportunity to learn to trust Him even more - and that is always a good thing.
And since we're almost 22 weeks now, I should probably share a 21 week photo with you before I wrap this up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

to quote bon jovi...

we're halfway there!


...and apparently i like the color blue - maybe it's a sign?  haha.   i wonder if i'll actually double the size that i'm at right now by the end.  only time will tell, i guess.  speaking of time, it's about time i put down in words some of the baby-thoughts that go through my head everyday, so here we go...

dear baby,

i can't believe we're already 20 weeks along!  i remember your early weeks, when i would count down the days, just so i could say we had another week down and now we're halfway there.  where did the time go?  it still doesn't seem real sometimes, even though it's hard to miss when i look in the mirror now.  i've had such a great time carrying you so far - you've been a great sport and i've been very blessed to be feeling well. 

it's been so nice to finally start feeling you moving around in my belly lately.  the first time it happened, your daddy and i were enjoying a long walk when all of a sudden i stopped in my tracks -  i thought i had walked right into something, but it was really just you flicking me from the inside.  every time you kick or push against me, i can't help but smile and thank God for you.  daddy's pretty excited to see your little kicks and pokes -  it's just a matter of time... 

the weather's gotten cooler this week - we're heading into fall and then winter; i'm normally really sad to see summer end, but this year i get to look forward to your arrival in january.  it'll be nice to share body warmth with you as the cold sets in - i've been told you'll keep me pretty warm towards the end. 

i love that we're so close right now, but i can't help counting down the next 20 weeks until we finally get to see and hold you. in the meantime, there's lots of preparation to do.  everything from what to name you to where you'll be sleeping to getting the things we need to take care of you.  God is good and i know He will provide the resources and wisdom we need to make whatever decisions the next couple of months hold for us.  learning to trust Him more is just one of many ways that He has already used you to sanctify me; i'm sure there will be many, many more and i am so thankful for that.   

well, that's all for now.  we love you so much and pray for you every single day. 

love,
your mom
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